Prince Andrey had for the first time grasped where he was and what was happening to him, and had recollected that he had been wounded and how at the moment when the carriage had stopped at Mytishtchy, and he had asked to be taken into the hut. Losing consciousness again from the pain, he came fully to himself once more in the hut while he was drinking tea. And thereupon again, going over in his memory all that had happened to him, the most vivid picture in his mind was of that moment at the ambulance station when at the sight of the sufferings of a man he had not liked, those new thoughts had come to him with such promise of happiness. And those thoughts—though vague now and shapeless—took possession of his soul again. He remembered that he had now some new happiness, and that that happiness had something to do with the Gospel. That was why he asked for the Gospel. But the position he had been laid in, without support under his wound, and the new change of position, put his thoughts to confusion again; and it was only in the complete stillness of the night that he came to himself again for the third time. Every one was asleep around him. A cricket was chirping across the passage; some one was shouting and singing in the street; cockroaches were rustling over the table, the holy images and the walls; a big fly flopped on his pillow and about the tallow candle that stood with a great, smouldering wick beside him.

His soul was not in its normal state. A man in health usually thinks, feels and remembers simultaneously an immense number of different things, but he has the power and the faculty of selecting one series of ideas or phenomena and concentrating all his attention on that series. A man in health can at the moment of the profoundest thought break off to say a civil word to any one who comes in, and then return again to his thoughts. Prince Andrey’s soul was not in a normal condition in this respect. All the faculties of his soul were clearer and more active than ever, but they acted apart from his will. The most diverse ideas and images had possession of his mind at the same time. Sometimes his brain suddenly began to work, and with a force, clearness, and depth with which it had never been capable of working in health. But suddenly the train of thought broke off in the midst, to be replaced by some unexpected image, and the power to go back to it was wanting. “Yes, a new happiness was revealed to me, that could not be taken away from man,” he thought, as he lay in the still, half-dark hut, gazing before him with feverishly wide, staring eyes. “Happiness beyond the reach of material forces, outside material, external influences on man, the happiness of the soul alone, the happiness of love! To feel it is in every man’s power, but God alone can know it and ordain it. But how did God ordain this law? Why the Son? …” And all at once that train of thought broke off, and Prince Andrey heard (not knowing whether in delirium or in actual fact he heard it) a kind of soft, whispering voice, incessantly beating time: “Piti-pitt-piti,” and then “i-ti-ti,” and again, “ipiti-piti-piti,” and again “i-ti-ti.” And to the sound of this murmuring music Prince Andrey felt as though a strange, ethereal edifice of delicate needles or splinters were being raised over his face, over the very middle of it. He felt that (hard though it was for him) he must studiously preserve his balance that this rising edifice might not fall to pieces; but yet it was falling to pieces, and slowly rising up again to the rhythmic beat of the murmuring music.

“It is stretching out, stretching out, and spreading and stretching out!” Prince Andrey said to himself. While he listened to the murmur and felt that edifice of needles stretching out, and rising up, Prince Andrey saw by glimpses a red ring of light round the candle, and heard the rustling of the cockroaches and the buzzing of the fly as it flopped against his pillow and his face. And every time the fly touched his face, it gave him a stinging sensation, but yet it surprised him that though the fly struck him in the very centre of the rising edifice it did not shatter it. But, apart from all this, there was one other thing of importance. That was the white thing at the door; that was a statue of the sphinx, which oppressed him too

“But perhaps it is my shirt on the table,” thought Prince Andrey, “and that’s my legs, and that’s the door, but why this straining and moving and piti-piti-piti and ti-ti and piti-piti-piti … Enough, cease, be still, please,” Prince Andrey besought some one wearily. And all at once thought and feeling floated to the surface again with extraordinary clearness and force.

“Yes, love (he thought again with perfect distinctness), but not that love that loves for something, to gain something, or because of something, but that love that I felt for the first time, when dying, I saw my

  By PanEris using Melati.

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